Maine’s Public Utilities Commission said July 15 that five storms in 2020, plus rising transmission rates approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, has resulted in an approved Central Maine Power distribution rate hike, effective Aug. 1.
The distribution rate increase primarily reflects recovery of a portion of the costs related to the five major storms and 16 small storms that occurred in 2020. The balance of storm costs will be recovered in future years, said a PUC news release.
At the same time, transmission rates for CMP customers are set to increase on August 1. Transmission rates are determined by rates set by formula and approved by FERC.
A major driver of CMP’s transmission rates is Maine’s share of regional system costs that are allocated to all New England states, the PUC said.
For residential customers, this transmission rate increase accounts for a 9% increase in the total bill and the distribution rate increase and other changes accountsfor the remaining 2.5% increase in the total bill. For a typical residential customer, the combined impact on the total monthly bill will be an increase of about 11.5% or $9.90, effective August 1, 2021.
“Eighty percent of this increase is driven by federally regulated transmission costs and unfortunately, they are determined by formulas that do not consider the impact to Maine consumers. The Commission carefully weighed the impacts of this increase and decided it made sense to defer a significant amount of storm costs to help mitigate the overall price impact for CMP customers,” said Chairman Philip L. Bartlett II, in the release. “In light of the extremely large transmission rate increase, which we cannot control, we were faced with no good options. Our decision strives to balance the immediate cost concerns with the longer-term price impacts that come with pushing expenses too far into the future.”
Small commercial customers taking standard offer service will see an average increase of about 11% in their total bill, meaning a small-sized business using 900 kWh a month will see a total bill increase of approximately $14.50 per month.
All public documents related to the case are available on the Commission website. Reference Case #2021-00036.
On March 31, 2021, CMP submitted its annual compliance filing in accordance with the Commission’s decision in Public Utilities Commission, Investigation into Rates and Revenue Requirements of Central Maine Power Company, Docket No. 2018-00194, Order (Feb. 19, 2020) and prior cases.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission regulates electric, telephone, water and gas utilities to ensure that Maine citizens have access to safe and reliable utility service at rates that are just and reasonable for all ratepayers. Commission programs include Maine Enhanced 911 Service, gas safety and Dig Safe. Philip L. Bartlett, II serves as Chairman, Randall Davis and Patrick Scully serve as Commissioners.
Learn more about the Commission at www.maine.gov/mpuc